National Fisherman


They don’t know what to do. It’s as simple as that.
 
The rumble they hear, louder by the moment, is their world collapsing around them and Everett and Jenice Sawyer simply don’t know what to do.
 
Everett, 42, will leave on Thursday, heading out to fish aboard the offshore dragger F/V Sammy Jo out of Boston, out to Georges Bank, looking to land pollock.
 
That will leave 46-year-old Jenice, slowed by a series of health problems, to pack up the remainder of their stuff from their Commonwealth Avenue apartment, from which they’ve been evicted for owing about $5,500 in back rent, and . . . then what?
 
“I don’t know,” Jenice said. “Probably pitch a tent.”
 
In so many ways, the Sawyers are the untold story of the commercial fishing disaster that has ravaged the piers of Gloucester and beyond.
 
The headline players are familiar enough in this passion play. There is NOAA and its National Marine Fisheries Service, along with environmentalists, in one corner; the boat owners and commercial fishing trade groups in another.
 
Caught between the antagonists — and there really is no other word for it — are those simply looking to make their living on the boats as crew members, folks with nothing more than sweat equity, a stake in the catch and a curiously tenacious grip on jobs that slowly are sinking away.
 
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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